This Week in history (13 November – 19 November)

13 November

On 13 November 1943 David ‘Ticky’ Donovan was born, in Loughton, England. He is a highly respected former competitor, coach and founder of the Ishinryu style of karate.

Originally a boxer, Donovan got started in Karate in 1965 when he and a friend attended a class run by Tatsuo Suzuki, a practitioner of Wado-Ryu. He almost quit after the first lesson, finding the pace a little slow. However, following a demonstration by Suzuki he was hooked.

Donovan practiced Wado-Ryu for a number of years before making a switch to Shotokan karate, being trained by Hirokazu Kanazawa and Keinosuke Enoeda. Following a break from karate, after sustaining a broken hand, Donovan switched styles to Kyokushinkai karate, training under Steve Arneil. He was eventually awarded his 2nd dan by Mas Oyama, the creator of the style.

Ticky Donovan eventually developed his own style of Ishinryu (All of one Heart) karate in 1973, which amalgamated his experiences from training in Wado-Ryu, Shotokan and Kyokushinkai. He opened his first club in Dagenham.

As a competitor Donovan won the British Championship titles in 1973, 1974 and 1975. He was part of a British team, managed by Steve Arneil, that won the World Championships against the much fancied Japanese team. In the October 1976 issue of Black Belt magazine he was named as one of the top ten European karateka.

With over thirty years as British team coach, Ticky Donovan has coached some of the best British karate talent, including (but not limited to) Wayne Otto, Molly Samuels, Vic Charles, Julliet and Jillian Toney.

As coach of the British team, Donovan spearheaded the most successful period in British competitive karate. His teams won the World Championship Team kumite event five times (1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990).

In 1991 Ticky Donovan was awarded an OBE in recognition of services to the world of karate.

In 2008 after retiring as British Coach continued as a Director of the EKF (England Karate Federation) and head of his Ishinryu association.


On 13 November 1970 the Toney twins (Jillian and Juliette) were born. They were both kumite competitors representing Britain at World and European level.

Julliet Toney is a two-time World Karate Champion (1996, 1998) and has also won medals at European and World Games competing in the 60kg weight class.

Jillian Toney is no less impressive, having won World Games (1997) and European (1997) titles, and also winning silver medals at the World Championships (1992, 1994), competing in the 53kg weight class.

16 November

On 16 November 1928 Mitsusuke Harada was born in Dalian, China, then a part of the Japanese Empire.

Harada began his training in 1945, under Genshin Hironishi (a senior student of Gichin Funakoshi), at the original Shotokan dojo in Zoshigaya, Tokyo. He also had the opportunity to be taught by Yoshitaka Funikoshi.

Following the allied bombing of Japan in 1945, the dojo was destroyed. Harada wrote a letter to Gichin Funakoshi requesting to continue his training if possible. Funakoshi invited him to continue his training with him at his son Yoshihide’s home.

In 1948, Harada entered Waseda University, Tokyo, to study economics and commerce. There he met Shigeru Egami and Tsutomu Ohshima, both who would have a profound influence on his karate.

While working in Brazil for the Bank of South America, Harada set up his own karate association, Karate-do Shotokan Brazileo.

In 1956 Gichin Funakoshi awarded Mitsusuke Harada the rank of 5th dan, a rank he has kept in honor of Funakoshi.

Following the political upheavals that occurred in the JKA following death of Funakoshi, some of his senior students including Harada left the JKA to form the Shotokai organisation.


On 16 November 1963 the British Karate Federation (BKF) became affiliated to the Japan Karate Association (JKA).

In a six-page letter to Masatomo Takagi, the JKA Managing Director, Vernon Bell formally agreed to the BKF severing ties with Yoseikan Karate with whom they had been affiliated since 1957. In the same letter Bell accepts a Shodan from the JKA.

Earlier that year Bell had written letters to the JKA seeking clarification of the BKF’s status. Bell had been led to belief that Yoseikan were the official body of Japanese karate. In fact Yoseikan specialized in teaching Judo and Aikido and were not authorized representatives of karate in Europe.


On 16 November 2008 the 19th World Karate Championships held at the Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan ended.

Japan was the most successful country at their home tournament, winning a total of nine medals including four golds.

Luca Valdesi won his third individual world title at this tournament, with Antonio Diaz winning the silver.

Rafael Aghayev won two gold medals in the open and 70kg kumite events. He won his first individual title at the previous World Championships in 2006.

Hoang Ngan Nguyen continued her successful tournament career winning the women’s individual kata event.

17 November

On 17 November 1917 noted martial artist, Richard Kim, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Kim began his martial arts training aged six, when his mother enrolled him in judo classes. In 1927 he began his karate training after witnessing Okinawan master Kentsu Yabu giving a demonstration of Shorinji-ryu karate at the Nuuanu YMCA in Hawaii. He went to Japan in 1930 to continue his training with Yabu.

Richard Kim also trained in Japan, in the combat style of Daito-ryu under master Yoshida Kotaro.

Kim did not limit his training just to Shorinji-ryu and Daito-ryu. He studied Yang style Tai Chi from Chen Chin Wuan. He learnt Ba Gua from Chao Hsu Lie. He trained with Mas Oyama and eventually with Goju-ryu master, Gogen Yamaguchi.

Kim was always happy to share his knowledge with martial artists from other styles. Peter Urban (Goju-ryu) and Pauline Bindra are among the martial artists who benefited from Kim’s knowledge.

18 November

On 18 November 2004 the 17th World Karate Championships were held at the Monterrey Arena, Monterrey, Mexico.

Goju-ryu practitioner Atsuko Wakai from Japan, won her fourth consecutive Word individual kata title. She is one of the most successful tournament competitors, having also won titles at the World Games, Asian Games and All-Japan Karate-do Championships.

Shotokan practitioner, Luca Valdesi, wins his first World individual kata title. He wins a second gold by helping Italy win the team kata event against the Japanese team. This is also his first world team kata title.

Shito-ryu practioner, Elisa Au from the United States wins double gold in the +60-kg kumite and open kumite events. She is the first American woman to win a World title, having first won in 2002.+60-kg kumite event

The Japanese team top the medal table winning four golds and one silver.

19 November

On 19 November 1963 Shotokai master. Mitsusuke Harada arrived in England from Belgium following an inviation from judo great, Kenshiro Abbe. Harada had started his karate training in 1943 and had trained under Gichin Funakoshi and Shigeru Egami.

Kenishiro Abbe’s organisation, the British Budo Council, had invited Harada to give a karate demonstration at the Royal Albert Hall, during the National Judo Championships, on 23 November 1963. Although billed as a Shotokan master in the event programme, Harada had already made the switch to Shotokai.


On 19 November 2011 Jacques Delcourt died. He played an important role in making karate a truly global art. He was instrumental in helping to create the European Karate Union, the forefather of many of top organisations in the world today.

Jacques Delcourt was born in Paris, France on 21 August 1928. During World War II he joined the resistance when he was only 15, eventually joining the Civil and Military Organisation (CMO). At age 16 he was wounded and assigned to the 110th Infantry Regiment.

Delcourt began his martial arts career with martial art great, Henri Plee, in the art of judo. Plee was also his teacher when he later made the switch to lean karate.

In 1961 Delcourt was appointed the head of French Karate, which at the time was still a branch of the Judo Federation.

In 1963 history was made when the first international karate tournament took place in Paris. Delcourt and the French Federation were joined by federations from Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Great Britain. These federations went on to form the European Karate Federation (EKF) in 1965, with Delcourt becoming the organisation’s first president. In 1966, the first European Karate Championships were held in Paris

In 1970 the World Union of Karate-do Organisations (WUKO) was formed as an international governing body for the EKF and the Federation of All Japan Karatedo Organisation (FAJKO), with Delcourt becoming president of the organisation. At the insistence of FAJKO president, Ryoichi Sasakawa, the first World Karate Championships took place in Tokyo, Japan.. In time WUKO would become the World Karate Federation (WKF).

Delcourt stepped down as president of the EKF in 1997. However, he was main an honorary president of the organisation. Between 1980 to 1992 he was a member of the French Olympic Committee.

Jacques Delcourt died on 19 November 2011 at his home in the South of France, aged eighty-three.

Author: Patrick Donkor

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.